The entry of humanitarian aid into Venezuela did not provide the tipping point the opposition had counted on to expedite a democratic transition process. While there were a significant number of defections by frontline troops in the military and national guard, the big push on 23 February to force lorries laden with food and medicine across the border from Colombia (and to a lesser extent, Brazil) was largely frustrated, fortifying the government led by Nicolás Maduro. Juan Guaidó has made big strides since proclaiming himself interim president on 23 January but his disappointment will have been compounded by the indirect rejection of his subsequent call for “all options” to be considered to topple Maduro as the hemispheric Lima Group emphatically ruled out foreign military intervention.

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